over the bering strait

29 07 2007

I technically wrote this on the plane, but posted it a bit late. Forgive me my lack of internet over the Bering Strait.

Something about juxtaposition comes up when I think about my current music selection. Certainly judging from the way we’re being treated on the JAL flight, Japan is nothing like the Gangsta’s Paradise Coolio describes in this 1995 epic.

It’s near. Not Japan per se—it’s still another 9 hours and 7180 kilometers away—rather the figurative, prototypical Japan experience that I kept worrying I should have had in my head (how am I going to teach a language with such complicated tenses!?). Spending three hours in the airport (teaching a lesson about punctuality?) with my now co-employees and talking about our fears of isolation and too many faux pas gave way to pure excitement, but it still feels like a vacation. I guess the mini-culture shock of hearing announcements only in a foreign language that will soon be decreasingly exotic helped with that too.

I imagine I’ll have more to write about when I land, but for now, I just thought I’d share some mid-flight thoughts. Oh, and of course the plane is pimped out. Even in my coach seat, surrounded by sleeping men I don’t want to disturb, I feel like a king. Hot towels, in-seat screens with movies (so far I’ve watched 300) video games (like Tetrix), and a camera with an underbelly view of the ground below: it’s almost as good as having a window seat! Nonetheless, it’s high time for a lap of the plane and bathroom visit.

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